Anyone who has ever opened a stocking knows this to be true: they tend to be filled with exactly two things. Either it’s candy that’s seasonal, and thus of questionable safety for the gluten-free, or it’s something somewhat useless, of the play-with-it-for-an-hour-and-forget-it variety.
Today, friends, we make that a thing of the past.
This post is filled with bright ideas for bringing the (gluten-free) fun to your stocking stuffing this year! From edible and DIY to clever and useful, these inspirational how-to’s and where-to-buy-’ems are all about making sure you not only surprise, but delight. Let’s get started.
First Things First
A lot of posts might wait until the end to provide you with the simplest, most direct route for gift-giving success, but we would never play with your emotions like that. As such, we recommend considering a classic, though oft-underused gift option: the gift card.
Wait! Before you take up your pitchforks and cry “impersonal,” think about this: gift cards can be great for someone who relies on specialty food items like gluten-free. Giving them a gift card to Amazon, the local grocery store, or a kitchen shop like Sur La Table not only goes toward the purchase of their favorite foods, but it gives them the opportunity to try a new item they’ve had their eye on but may have been hesitant to purchase due to budget restrictions. You can even include a note with some recommendations that they try! Who says that ain’t thoughtful?
Hit The Store
So, that said, some may wish to show off just a little more. ‘Tis the season, right? There are a couple ways to do this: purchased or DIY. In keeping with theme, we’ll start with the simpler, store-bought options.
The best gift, however small, is one that keeps on giving. And for someone with food allergies or special dietary needs, that thing is something they can cook with. Since prepping their own food is kind of a celiac’s thing, whether or not they want it to be, make it fun with some colorful and functional tools that make basic food prep a breeze. We love the cheerful products from Chef’n, which are bright, affordable, and make things easier than you knew they could be. Snap up a StemGem strawberry huller perfect for making delicious treats like nutella-stuffed berries, or a QuickStick snack slicer – a bladeless device that instantly quarters everything from carrots to brussels sprouts for easy cooking or dipping. They also make this adorable infuser for the tea drinker in your life, as well as this miniature double-ended spatula that will become their new all-purpose kitchen staple! The best part? All four cost between just $4.99 and $14.99!
If you’d like to go with classic sweet treats and little baubles à la the stockings of yore, check out this list. It’s a compilation of verified gluten-free products that are stocking-sized, from cookies to lip balm. And it even throws in a couple of unexpected items, like argan oil and oatmeal. Hey, we make that!
Going to the Next Level
Still committed to going the oh-so-personal DIY route? Good for you! We think this can often be the most fun form of gift giving since the experience of putting it together with a personal touch is a great indoor activity on cold winter nights. So, here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…
- Themed Mason Jars. These can be literally anything you want, a fun-filled distillation of everything your gift recipient loves. Plus, it is adaptable for any age or gender or group size. Fill one with soft washcloths and hand-milled soaps, another with mini nail polishes, files and stickers, and yet another with tiny toy cars, dinosaurs and jet planes. There are lots of ideas right here. We also love the very artisanal, very adult idea of putting together a mason jar cocktail with airline bottle sizes of liquor, add-ins, a bar tool or two and a printed recipe card, just like this!
- Hot Cocoa Test Tubes. Speaking of mix-it-yourself, this adorable, affordable and festive DIY from Swell Mayde fills apothecary-style tubes with all the delicious dry ingredients for an after-presents cup of our seasonal favorite. Especially ideal if you’re making for a crowd!
- DIY Beauty.Hidden gluten in beauty products are a real pain in the keister. So, why not make something lovely and amazing-smelling that works as well as the store-bought stuff? We love this tutorial on how to use essential oils to make all natural, long-lasting perfumes. Or this one on making a Candy Cane Sugar Scrub using ingredients you can find around the kitchen, with cute printable tags included!
- Make it Mini. This one is guaranteed delicious! We love the idea of homemade infusions that are not only fresh, but made with great ingredients. This how-to shows you the simplest way to make aromatic olive oil that the home cook in your life will drool over. Or you can take the boozier path as detailed by this post from The Kitchn, all about making fruit-infused liquors. This is great since flavor-infused alcohol is often one of the greatest culprits of hidden gluten. You can make full sized versions, though miniatures are not only stocking-sized, but ideal for gifting to a number of people. Simply make a large batch, and funnel your finished product into adorable bottles, like these swing tops or glass flasks!
Feeling inspired? Go out and gift!